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Here’s how to write a winning offer letter


This time I’d like to talk about the most important element of the hiring cycle – the offer letter. Writing an offer letter to a future employee can be a tedious affair filled with details.

There are the numbers to calculate. Don’t forget to include the current benefits package, and, yes, any non-competes or documentation that HR requires.

All in all, it can be a pretty boring task. But be careful. If you think of the offer letter as a technical, impersonal formality, please don’t! It can be the step in the process that actually loses you the candidate you want! If you’ve ever had an offer turned down — and were surprised about it — you’ll want to read my helpful hints for writing “offer love letters” that will guarantee that your candidate will say, “yes”!

How to “seal the deal” in your letter:

  • Briefly summarize your interview/restate your plan— Write some of the strategies and suggestions that were discussed during the interview process (e.g., “We are excited that you will be growing our metro New York regional sales and look forward to helping you be successful in your sales career with us.”).
  • Tell the candidate you want him— Everyone wants to be wanted, and the offer letter is the perfect place to make that clear. Include a sentence like, “We know you will be an important contributor to our marketing team, and we are very excited about the valuable impact you can have on our 2013 Strategic Marketing Plan and our business moving forward.”
  • Show him the money— While there are exceptions to every rule, never, ever pay someone (especially someone who you have been wooing and wowing!) the same amount of money as they are making now. I don’t care if it’s only $100.00 or $1,000.00 more than he is currently making. Your offer should be for more money. Why? There is an important psychological factor in earning even a little more money when you take a new job. And there’s a real “disconnect” when a candidate has been wooed and wowed, and then receives an offer letter for no more money than he is currently making. There’s nothing that will dampen someone’s enthusiasm for your company faster.
  • Send him a present— I know of a company that includes a company T-shirt in their offer packet. I think it’s a nice touch. If you’ve got those company tees, squeeze balls or company portfolios in the marketing department closet, get one out and send it. Instead of an offer letter envelope, they receive an offer box! It’s an inexpensive way to earn lots and lots of good feelings.

Philip Kemper is Founder/President of Kemper Associates, a 36-year-old Chicago-based national executive search firm, specializing in Permanent and Contract staffing for Trade Shows and Exhibits, Staging and Equipment Rental, Business Meetings and Events Production, Video, Training and Incentives and more. His more complete bio is on LinkedIn at: http://www.linkedin.com/pub/philip-kemper/2/795/308/ . You may view Kemper Associates’ website at: www.Kemperassociates.net, and contact Phil with questions or comments, and employment needs at: Kemperassoc@hotmail.com, or his private phone line: (312) 944-6551.

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